Written in the Stars - Aisha Saeed

Written in the Stars truly is a heart-wrenching novel.

“Life is full of sadness. It's part of being a woman. Our lives are lived for the sake of others. Our happiness is never factored in.''

Written in the Stars follows the ideologies within a Pakistani family unit. It talks about arranged marriage and forbidden love from a unique cultural perspective.
It's fair to warn you that you may be somewhat bothered by the graphic content. Our protagonist Naila goes through a lot of painful experiences and disgusting treatment. Seriously, I am freaking reeling from the suspense of it all. Naila's parents and other relatives are extremely conservative and I guess it's hard for us who live in progressive societies to understand. But note that there is a gigantic difference between an arranged marriage and a forced one. Naila was not even aware she getting married! I mean, who does that? At least in an arranged marriage you sort of have a say in whoever you're marrying. Whichever way you look at it, some of the treatment shown here is very abusive and I think nobody deserves that. No one. Whatever the race, the gender or religion, everyone deserves a shot choosing who to love.

“My mother always says when you fight destiny, destiny fights back. Some things, they're just written in the stars. You can try but you can never escape what's meant to be.”

Aisha Saeed is a very talented writer. She captures the feeling of the character and the moment that as a reader you get so caught up in everything. There is a tremendous amount of depth here, in the plotlines surrounding her family and her obligations as a Muslim Pakistani woman, in the comparison and bridging of the East and West cultures, in the efforts our characters are willing to put in just to be able to choose their own paths and find happiness.

There may not be a sci-fi or dystopian element in the romance, but reader can still empathize with Naila, because she's only a young 18-year old. I still consider this a YA book. A very compelling YA book that opens our eyes to the real issues that matter.